Sunday, 30 July 2017

2017 BC Epic 1000: Day 4

Crawford Creek to Fernie
Daily distance: 272 km (169 mi)
Riding Time: 25 hours 33 minutes
Total distance: 1067 km (663 mi)
Standing: 2nd place

I was up at 3am hoping to get the jump on Lennard.  I knew Gray Creek pass was steep and I would be walking a lot of it so I want to start early.  As I was walking, I noticed a pain on my rear end.  I thought I would try sleeping in my bibs to save time in the morning; big mistake!  I will spare the gory details, but needless to say, my backside was quite sore for the rest of the ride.  Once I got to the face of the hill, I started walking.  It took forever and I was happy to get to the top. 

Top of Gray Creek Pass

The descent was fast and fun.  The trail followed some gravel roads, and then pavement until just before Kimberly.  I felt good until that point, but once I got into the steep single track, I started to feel really bad.  It started to get hot and I felt really run down.  My airway was closing up and I was having trouble breathing.  I was having trouble finding the track at times and had to backtrack to make sure I was on course.  This was definitely a low point.  I knew I would have to stop in Kimberly to get my airway back.  I stopped at store in Kimberly for about 45 min to force some food down and try to cough out some gunk in my lungs.  I did not feel very good at all.  After choking down some liquids and a sandwich I was off again.  I felt really sleepy so took another cat nap on the side of the trail.  I know with this type of racing that if you feel really low, eventually you will feel good.  I was waiting eagerly to feel good again and I started to feel better after Cranbrook.  The trail continued on rail grade and went into some fun wide single track after Wardner.  I got into a good place keeping my pace comfortable enough where my airway felt good.  I rode as it got dark and crossed the big bridge near Baynes Lake.  I climbed the paved hill and got to the RV campground as night really started to fall.  I found one of the hoses for the RVs had potable water so I filled up for the final push to the end.

The trail started to get a bit sketchy at this point.  I was having trouble finding out where I was and where the route went.  I kept fumbling around in the dark, up and down the gravel roads and narrow grassy paths.  The trail spat me out onto the highway leading up to Elko.  I remembered this stretch from touring it with Kristin a few years back.  That time it was 35 degrees and hot; this time it was late at night and muggy.  After Elko, and crossing the river, the trail deteriorated into a steep, rocky, hike-a-bike.  I had another airway-blocking coughing fit and had to stop to get my breathing sorted out.  The trail gradually got smoother and smoother the closer I got to Fernie.  At one point, I started to nod off and took a quick nap.   After that nap, I was determined to get to the finish.  I felt bad, and couldn’t eat or breathe well, but pushed on.  It was cold, but I didn’t even stop to put on warmer clothes.  I didn’t want to stop and just wanted to get to the finish line.  The sun rose and I pedalled as more and more civilisation appeared.  Farm houses and power lines meant I was getting closer and closer.  The gravel turned into pavement as I wheezed my way to the finish.  I was greeted by my loving family and Chip Andrus.  It was great to be done!  Kristin had a coffee for me to drink and after I was done that, I could speak a bit better.  Lennard pulled up shortly after and we talked about the race.  It was so much fun trying to catch him!  I went back to the hotel for a shower and quick nap and had breakfast with Lennard, Chip and their families.  It was great and I hope to do the race again sometime!

All done!

Glad to talk to Lennard after chasing him for four days

My recovery took a little while.  I went to the doctor after the race and found out I had bronchitis.  He gave me a bunch of antibiotics and I slept most of the time for a few days after the race.  It took a few days to recover and I was well enough to participate in the Alberta Rockies 700 race 11 days later.

Result:  3 days 22 hours; 2nd place overall; 1st place single speed (Eastbound single speed record)


  1. Passing up all that good food in Nelson just to catch the last ferry -- that is self-control. So good to be at the finish line to hear you whisper out your story.

    1. Thanks for meeting me at the line! It meant a lot to have someone (including my family) to meet me at the end.